This the next series to the Stack up in selecting your next application stack like a boss. Sometimes your application needs to implement feature like maps, or send push notifications or email users on the stats or even do sentiment analysis. While most of the things are implementable, you need not reinvent the wheel when you already have an API service online (paid or free) which could let you get the result.
The decision between implementing your own or using an API depends on lot of factors like cost, time to develop, feature importance and support/reliability of the service just to name a few. In this series we will see how we can go by selecting the API you need easily just like a boss.
ReSEARCH your API
The more you know about your API, the more you can explore it in your application, one of the first step is to find information about your API. You may seek the help of below items to find out popular service and API that helps you achieve your operation.
This site list most of the public API’s. You can use the search to type in the service you need (e.g.: “Mail”, “Maps”, etc.) and it will return the list of APIs’ that offer that. You can select a service and see its API documentation and provider. One positive thing is the Related API, its shows you list of related API that you can take a look before deciding. You can also add your API in case you develop any.
Mashape is one of the largest API marketplace out there trusted by around 120,000 developers, PublicAPI (described above) is part of Mashape. It has a complete platform which you can use to test and consume the API. You will get extensive example of usage, support issues and more details about an API. You can even publish your API. You can follow other developers and see what they are using. This is one place you would want to look before deciding your next API.
Programmable Web is another good resource of web APIs’. It not only has good list of APIs’ but also you can filter based on categories and protocols/formats. You can view list of new released APIs’ and also add your own API to it. API information like the provider, source code, end points and the developer information is shown. Programmable web also has latest news, reviews and how-to guide about API.
Service repository contains a good list of SOAP based APIs’ online. It tells you basic description and details required to consume the API like the interfaces and the end points. You can also select the API based on rating and the availability of service and also events when the API changes. Above all the software that they use is also available for download which you can use to run your own service repository. A good place for SOAP fans!
With the above mentioned site, selecting your API is now going to fun as you have lot of options and also help from community. Have you been using any API lately? Comment below.
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